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Style Pick | Austin Aquatics & Sports Academy

This South Austin athletic facility wants to change the way you train.

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It’s hard to make a gym look good,” says Kevin Thompson, laughing. While he may be right about your typical, cookie cutter gym, Austin Aquatics and Sports Academy in South Austin has spared no expense — and it shows. From the Italian-built Myrtha pool (the same kind that will be used in the 2016 Summer Olympics) to the top of the line training equipment (they recently replaced a series of treadmills for not being up to the facility’s standards), owners Kevin and Patti Thompson hope to revolutionize how Austinites of all ages get fit.

Unlike other gyms where you swipe a card, hit the elliptical, and head home, AASA hosts only trainer and coach led classes in swimming, triathlon training, and general strength and conditioning training. The Thompsons have gathered a staff of professionals including six-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming Brendan Hansen, fellow Olympian Nate O’Brien, professional triathlete Natasha Van Der Merwe, and former University of Pennsylvania swimming all-star Margot Newcomer, among others.

“Whether you’re 54 or seven, there are benefits you can get from [training with a professional],” explains Kevin Thompson. “That’s why everything is coach led here. What we believe is if you don’t have someone who is showing you how to do it right, the likelihood you stay in a sport is much lower. You’re going to get injured or burned out.”

It’s a sentiment both Thompsons have experience to be true. Though Kevin is a life-long athlete and former college basketball player who “works out 363 days a year,” Patti is relatively new to exercise. At 44 years old, a group of friends urged her to take up running. Patti resisted at first, but credits proper training for building her confidence and skill set. “[Now] I have four marathons behind me,” she says. “I never would have believed I could do something like that. I wasn’t an athletic child.”

With AASA now open, the Thompsons hope others will follow in Patti’s footsteps, regardless of age. Whether it’s a young swimmer looking to compete on a high school level or a seasoned triathlete hoping to improve their stamina, the couple says they want give AASA's clients the confidence — and skill set — to improve. Says Kevin, “We want to create an environment that when we look back, and we’ve handed it to our kids to run, that … a bunch of kids have gone through here, a bunch of adults have gone through here [and] that we helped them reach whatever their goals are.”

Credits

Images courtesy of Austin Aquatics & Sports Academy

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